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Orienteering: NSW Summer Series


What is orienteering?

From Wikipedia, Orienteering is a family of sports that require navigational skills using a map and compass, usually in combination with point to point racing, in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain. Participants are given a map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, which they use to find control points. Originally a training exercise in land navigation for military officers, orienteering has developed many variations. Among these, the oldest and the one with the most “starts” per year[citation needed] is foot orienteering. For purposes of this article, foot orienteering serves as a point of departure for discussion of all other variations.

I was intrigued by what sport it is, as one of our Woodstock mates: Barry Cole, sent an email regarding the sport which is on this summer. It is a series of orienteering events in New South Wales region starting this spring till the end of summer.

So the event is called Sydney Summer Series.

The event is timed at least to run at 45 minutes having different checkpoints you need to go to. It requires or practices your navigational skills, physical speed and your quick mental capability on logistics. There are number of checkpoints the organizers scatter around the event area and whoever finishes or completes the search in the shortest time wins. Although the tallying is done for the first 12 highest events.

It runs every Wednesday most of the time, and started last October 8 at McMahons Point.

I thought it would be interesting to join, as it will be a variety of my running routine outdoors. I thought of like the “Amazing Race” kind of thing, and or I those activities I have had when I was in high school during summer Science camps.

I meant to joint the initial one BUT since AGAIN every time I tell myself I am going home early from work, work just keeps me too late at work. Anyway, I was able to join the 2nd one.

I posted the event in the Couchsurfing community, as someone might be interested to join me. A few did want to join but not sure of what time they finish at work. This second event i am glad that Marcusof Germany from New Zealand (haha yes it is confusing 😛 ) joined me.

Marcus loves biking and running. If i have lost at max 14 kilos, he lost 30 kilos from running. He did his first and only running race last Sydney Running festival. And guess what? he did a Marathon! Crazy isn’t it? No short distance races and broke a spine 4 months ago from a bike race,although he told me he at least do 80KMs a week.

Anyway Marcus and I, were first timers so we did not know how it is done. We need to go the shortest way to go to all checkpoints. In this event there are 30 checkpoints scattered in the area of Iron cove. So we were given a card where we can write and the map and the hint where the check points are. So we learned that check points are little buckets with the check point number and a letter pair written on the bucket bottom that we have to write on the boxes on our card as when we get to the mission.

We started at 1711 deciding to go first to the farthest and finding the nearest last. It was very different to running races as you have o cross streets with cars and you need to be careful, sprint to where the checkpoints are, stop and write, then think the next which target to go next. We finished all 30 checkpoints in 1 hour and 10 minutes. So we get deductions as our time was past 45 minutes. We finished at 1821. It is not like in a running race where you get to see the results immediately, every check point have different scores, which makes the result calculation more difficult.

The Iron Cove results are shownhere.
Score: 340
Points: 65

It was indeed a good activity. And i think it is good to do it with someone, someone who is keen in finishing the “race” as fast and efficient as how you want it to be. Still, again it is very subjective. 🙂

I still would join the other events as long as time permits and the location is accessible.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. pat3za permalink
    17/10/2008 9:03 pm

    sounds like fun 🙂
    you go to alot of races, missy!

  2. witchkitty permalink*
    19/10/2008 12:07 pm

    it is fun 🙂 you should try it, i think there’s one in Homebush. Starts are in between 430-645 so i am sure you still can make it after work, good way t de-stress!

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